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Erbstuecke* – Discovering Europe in your Cultural Heritage

A joint project by Goethe-Institut and Wikimedia Deutschland e.V.

(*literally: heirloom)

2018 is the European Year of Cultural Heritage and throughout the year, the diverse cultural heritage will be celebrated across Europe.

“Erbstuecke” is a digital project designed by the Goethe-Institut and will be organised and realised in cooperation with Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. and in consultation with the German Cultural Heritage Committee (Deutsches Nationalkomitee für Denkmalschutz, DNK) in different European cities and towns. The DNK itself is responsible for all activities of the European Year of Cultural Heritage within Germany.

The aim of “Erbstuecke” is to tell the story of our common roots, of how much of Europe can be found in the cultural heritage of Estonia, Portugal and Serbia for instance. We want to encourage to participate as many people and as many European countries as possible with a variety of their “heirlooms”. Cultural cooperations and influences have constituted the European cultural agenda long before the European Union was founded. Our common European heritage keeps on influencing our lives. “Sharing heritage: where the past meets the future” is this year’s slogan.

Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. will contact active and interested Wikipedia chapters all over Europe. Together with these Wikipedia chapters the Goethe-Institut is planning to organise “Edit-a-thons”, research and editing festivals that will take place in their libraries, in partner libraries or GLAM* institutions. (*Galleries, Libraries, Archives & Museums)

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About the project "Erbstuecke* – Discovering Europe in your Cultural Heritage"[edit]

(*literally: heirloom)


A joint project by Goethe-Institut and Wikimedia Deutschland e.V.


2018 is the European Year of Cultural Heritage and throughout the year, the diverse cultural heritage will be celebrated across Europe.

The Goethe-Institut and Wikimedia Deutschland e.V., aim to draw the attention of different European Wikimedia chapters, groups and communities to our project “Erbstuecke* – Discovering Europe in your Cultural Heritage” and we want to encourage them all to cooperate.

The European Cultural Heritage Year will focus on what we share and what unites us. Where do we recognize our European heritage in our cities, towns and cultural landscapes? [...] We want to increase awareness of our rich heritage and inspire a desire to preserve it. Let us discover our shared roots, let us see our surroundings with new eyes, let us tell each other our stories!

“Erbstuecke” is a digital project designed by the Goethe-Institut and will be organised and realised in cooperation with Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. and in consultation with the German Cultural Heritage Committee (Deutsches Nationalkomitee für Denkmalschutz, DNK) in different European cities and towns. The DNK itself is responsible for all activities of the European Year of Cultural Heritage within Germany.

The aim of “Erbstuecke” is to tell the story of our common roots, of how much of Europe can be found in the cultural heritage of Estonia, Portugal and Serbia for instance. We want to encourage to participate as many people and as many European countries as possible with a variety of their “heirlooms”. Cultural cooperations and influences have constituted the European cultural agenda long before the European Union was founded. Our common European heritage keeps on influencing our lives. “Sharing heritage: where the past meets the future” is this year’s slogan.

An “heirloom” is by no means old: It can also be a current item or phenomenon that draws its existence from a common root. And there is immaterial and material cultural heritage. For example carnival as well as the Würzburg Residence.


And that is what we have in mind:

Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. will contact active and interested Wikipedia chapters all over Europe in order to do Edit-a-thons. Together with these Wikipedia chapters the Goethe-Institut is planning to organise “Edit-a-thons”, research and editing festivals that will take place in their libraries, in partner libraries or GLAM* institutions. (*Galleries, Libraries, Archives & Museums)

These “Edit-a-thons” are planned to take place in Athens, Belgrade, Brussels, Lyon, Milan, Paris, Prague, Sofia and Warsaw, maybe also in Amsterdam or Rotterdam, Helsinki, London and other cities. Wikipedians from the local Wikipedia chapters will be invited to participate in these events. We hope to attract also representatives of GLAM-partners and people interested in the idea of becoming a wikipedian in the future.

Participants will be asked to work on Wikipedia articles about items, that are important for their local and regional European Cultural Heritage – their “Erbstuecke”. The “heirlooms” shared should have their roots in or a significant relationship to at least three different European countries. Each "Edit-a-thons" will start with an introduction followed by editing articles about these items with the help of experienced wikipedians. Participants are free to choose on which “heirloom” they want to work at. We plan either two one-day events or one two-day event in each mentioned city. The Edit-a-thons will be conducted in the official language of each country.

A selection of Edit-a-thons will be documented by the Goethe-Institut through videos, photos and interviews. The Goethe-Institut will additionally create a series of articles sharing some of the “Erbstuecke”.

The Goethe-Institut provides the infrastructure for the Edit-a-thons: venue, WiFI, adequate technical equipment, food and drinks. Participants who are travelling from out of town could contact their respective Goethe-Institut regarding transportation allowance for public transport to the venue of the editathon.

Further information about the project “Erbstuecke – discovering Europe in your cultural heritage” and “heirlooms” will be published at the website of the Goethe-Institut in German, English and further languages. The articles showcasing outstanding examples of material or immaterial cultural heritage items can be found there as well. In these articles we would refer to the different Wikipedia articles regarding the Erbstuecke in the respective language.

For this project we hope that the Wikimedia chapters in the respective countries and cities activate their community of Wikipedians in order to edit and create more articles which showcase European cultural heritage in general and the European roots of and influence on their country.

Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. will reach out to European Wikimedia Chapters, groups and communities to encourage them to organise the events together with their respective Goethe-Institutes. Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. aims to support the organisation of a planned closing ceremony of Erbstuecke – discovering Europe in your cultural heritage in Berlin.

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